This guest article is brought to you by Camille from Barron’s Test Prep.
Time for Practice Tests
Everyone has different learning styles and ways to best remember information. But one of the keys to performing well on the SATs, no matter your style, is to practice, practice, practice.
Test. Studying tricks and hints can be good, as you can pick up on test tips you would have never even thought of. But you should be spending the majority of your time on practice tests. Just going through the act of answering full sets of questions at once and experiencing math and critical reading sections intermixed will help you do well. Practice tests are as close as you can get without taking the real thing.
Time. Timing really is everything, at least when it comes to the SATs! Set the clock and stick to the allotted time. Really stop when the clock stops! Getting in the rhythm of answering questions in a set amount of time is a major part of doing well on the SATs. The more you time yourself, the better you will be at making it through a section without breaking a sweat.
Repeat. It feels redundant because it is redundant, but not in a bad way. The more practice you have with the format, question options and timing, the better you will be able to perform on test day. Just think of a runner or a swimmer competing for their best times. They do it every day and get better as a result.
Set a goal for yourself. After your first practice test, see what percentage you answer correctly. Then set a goal of increasing that percentage by a certain amount. (Don’t make it too easy on yourself!) Keep repeating until you see your scores climb.
Some people find it useful to take the same question set over and over. If you think this method might help you, each print multiple sets of the section so that you can retake every week or so. This is a good method to learn the question types and answers that can distract you.
Image Credit: Earls37a on flickr, used under the Creative Commons License.